Our friends down in Natchez, Mississippi are enjoying Balloon Festival this weekend. It’s a big deal every year! The whole town shows up. Every hotel, B and B and guest room at friends is booked for months in advance. There is great food, really cool, fun music, people of all ages from everywhere, and a spectacular site when those hot air balloons take off over the Big Muddy!
Friday night’s main event is called Balloon Glow.
The Balloon Glow is an exciting and colorful event where many of the pilots inflate their balloons at sunset, keeping them tethered to the ground, and use a special burner that creates a bright, warm light within the envelope, giving the balloons a light bulb like appearance.
Wish we could have stayed for this event! Maybe next year….
I realized something this week. Either I have absolutely no ability to screen my photos and prioritize, or I just have too darn many pictures to choose from.
Every time I post for the photo challenge I lead with this disclaimer/apology for posting too many. I’m going to stop doing that unless or until someone tells me I should just pick one photo, OK?
Glow brought a few pictures to mind.
I love the late afternoon, not quite sunset but here in the Northwest, the sun is low in the sky for many days of the year. It makes for some interesting lighting. My favorite thing is to come across a scene where all is darkish, in the afternoon shadows, except one sun spotlighted thing…like these.
This lighting seems to make things (and cats) glow and some even look like they are illuminated from within…
But clearly they were from Houston and recognizable as such to many Southern folks. They are gorgeous! (Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty gorgeous people from Natchez and they have their own social hierarchy!)
I have to say the Bishop who performed the ceremony was great and quite a good sport. In the pre-wedding interview with my cousin and his intended, the Officiant did his job well. Knowing these two were not practicing Mormons, he had to tactfully discover the nature of what the bride would be wearing. There are pretty specific standards in the Mormon church about what the bride can wear in her wedding…legs, arms, neck and shoulders are to be tastefully covered. I wish I could have seen his face when my new cousin-in-law described her lovely, Houstonian, strapless, designer gown. Bless his heart, somehow he worked it all out, maybe even in honor of my Aunt, long gone now, but a well-known member of this church…who knows.
The wedding task, assigned me by my cousin, as his only relative present for the ceremony, was to choose a short reading.
My self-imposed task was to say something leading up to the reading that might bring these three groups together. YIKES…but, I love a good challenge. I really wanted to do this right! My cousin is much more like a brother to me. I lived with him, his brother, and my aunt and uncle for many years when I was young. They became my immediate family.
I have officiated at several weddings myself and I know that nothing brings a group together faster than shared laughter, but I had to do some research because I did not want to be disrespectful to the LDS wedding guests who came primarily because they loved my cousin’s mother. My Aunt had a big hand in starting the Mormon Church there in Natchez years ago and these people still remember her! I wanted to make sure it was proper to laugh out loud, to applaud, and to rebel yell in a Mormon “Meeting House”…not that I could have stopped my cousin’s longtime Natchez friends from cheering at the end…He is 68 years old and this is his first marriage so this was a Big Deal!
I guess my research paid off because apparently the short comments I made before the reading were a hit. At the reception, at least one member of each of the three distinct groups gave me positive feedback on what I said during the ceremony.
Anyway, the whole thing went off without a hitch…Well, except there was that mix-up about who got to use the limo from Dunleith to the Mormon Meetinghouse, the Houstonians or the Bridal Party. The out of town guests were all staying in one of Natchez most famous Antebellum Mansions, and the Hummer Limo was the transportation to the church.
lighting in the Mansion’s rooms
That was a slightly stressful 15 minute wait for the Bride’s arrival, but she and her beautiful maids showed up and the ceremony was short, sweet, and as predicted, raucous at the end!!
The reception was lovely also. Again, in memory of my Aunt and Uncle, it was held in our childhood home. Beautiful string quartet, fantastic food and the successful blending of those three fairly distinct groups for an evening to remember! My aunt, uncle and other cousin would have been thrilled to see the transformation in their home, especially given the reason for it.
All in all, an amazing ending to the Natchez part of our trip. We piled in the car the next morning, bright and early, heading for home!
So the theme this week is Scale and apparently it was already a favorite of mine. No surprise as the instructions were filled with the word “perspective”. That, of course, really caught my eye, and reminded me of so many photos I have taken over the years showing the scale of something from differing perspectives..
Here are just a few.
I have a collection of little trains. This is the, by far, the smallest.
Series of shots showing the scale of shells found in Fiji.
And last, but certainly not least, one of my favorite all-time posts from one of my favorite all-time bloggers, Mr. Badfish himself…
I’m responding to a Challenge from a blogger I admire. Another great way to get the writing juices flowing. She posts 4 questions that we are to answer, with or without photos. Here are this week’s questions (with my answers). If you already know me, you will be able to guess which of the questions got me thinking the most!
(I’m experimenting with changing text color so hopefully my answers will be in BLUE!)
What do you consider is the most perfect food for you? (It can be your favorite food to something extremely healthy.) The POTATO! I can’t think of a single way a potato can be prepared that I don’t absolutely LOVE. Maybe because my mother was born in IDAHO and most of my ancestors are IRISH! I’ve loved potatoes since I was a kid when my Dad would fry up a bacon-onion-egg-cheese-potato mix. He’d hand us a salted, raw slice for crunching on while we waited for our favorite breakfast!
Are you focused on today or tomorrow? Lately, neither. I am apparently focused on yesterday for a while. Reminiscing, revisiting, reclaiming, reuniting, remembering…all things I’ve spent this year doing, and enjoying every minute of it!
I’m slowly writing up stories from the Epic Roots Road Trip we took this summer.
If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?
I would ask John RayYoung:
“What beliefs did you get from your father Joseph Young, that you passed on to your son, my great great grandfather, Brigham?”
“What did you teach him about religion?”
“What did you model for him about the treatment of women?”
What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.
I was inspired this week by my friendship with Karuna.
If you have not seen her blog, she shares an amazing spiritual journey and is becoming quite adept at photography!
Our history is so long, with its ebbs and flows, and yes, bumps. I love knowing someone for a really long time. Karuna is the reason I started blogging and I am so grateful. I have thoroughly enjoyed the process, even when writing about difficult subjects.